There are different types of romantic couples. There are those who sit around, staring into each other’s eyes, whispering secrets and passion-filled thoughts. Then there are the couples who seem like they’re about to punch each other every second, but all of a sudden, they’ve found a bookcase to make out behind. I’m not saying one of these is better than the other, just that one of these couples is super, super boring to watch on TV and the other is one of my favorite things in all of TV/movies/books/life in general. Seriously. “Hate-Sex” couples are the best couples, and I’ll fight anyone (and then maybe make out with them?) on that one.
1. Cordelia and Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
No one understood why Cordelia and Xander were dating (other than he was presumably much nicer than her usual boyfriends, and she was, well, a girl who wasn’t a supernatural being… yet). But that doesn’t mean that the scene when they first kiss in Buffy’s basement and an orchestra swells isn’t exciting in a guilty pleasure kind of way.
2. Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy from Becoming Jane
Jane Austen’s supposedly Darcy-esque real-life love thrills her with his knowledge of life outside the countryside, otherwise known as being a huge asshole. (I’m from New York, I can vouch for this as truth.) They actively piss each other off until suddenly it’s flirting, giving hope to girls everywhere that cute douchebags will turn out to be as wonderful as Mr. Darcy… I mean, Tom LeFroy.
3. Melanie and Jake from Sweet Home Alabama
Picture this: You’re wealthy, (Mc)dreamy boyfriend proposes to you inside a New York City jewelry store. You, of course, say yes, and then promptly return to your backwoods hometown in order to finalize your divorce from your rugged (and gorgeous) high school sweetheart. You fight, drive each other crazy, attempt to ruin each other’s lives, and then, of course, you decide to stay married for him forever and ever because you never really stopped loving him. And there you have it, a love story for the ages.
4. Anastasia and Dimitri from Anastasia
As a very small child, this is the couple I can remember rooting for. I loved Disney princess movies, but it was more for the music than the love story. Anastasia and Dimitri were the ones who fell in love by not getting along, the ones who couldn’t stand each other until suddenly they couldn’t be without each other. I still watch this movie and giggle knowingly whenever they infuriate each other.
5. Mindy and Danny from The Mindy Project
I’m a little behind on my TV, but the last time I watched The Mindy Project, Danny and Mindy were pretty much at each other’s throats. And while technically there was no kissing, it was definitely the beginning of a perfect hate sex couple. They’re both strong-willed and flawed, but they care for each other, deep, deep down, and they feel bad if they go to far in their insult-throwing dance. I love Mindy Kaling, so I’d be watching the show regardless, but this couple is the reason I sit around thinking about the show after the end of an episode. I’m even more excited for them to actually get together, because you just know they will never stop pushing each other’s buttons, even once they’ve admitted their feelings.
6. Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox from You’ve Got Mail
Maybe I just relate too much to this movie, but let me just say this: I know guys who reference The Godfather a lot. They’re usually cute, but they’re also usually assholes, and of course, I usually like them, but in a totally “I actually hate you” kind of way.
7. Maggie and Ike from Runaway Bride
This city boy and small town girl are definitely not the Journey song they sound like. They push each other’s buttons and drive each other crazy, especially when they realize how much they understand the other, despite, you know, the whole supposed-to-be-hating-each-other thing.
8. Rory and Jess from Gilmore Girls
There’s nothing like a bad boy, this is true, but it’s even better when he starts out seeming like an asshole in every way, and then quickly starts proving you wrong point by point, until you realize he’s better suited for you than your own boyfriend.
Notable Mentions: Buffy & Spike from BtVS, Leleina & Troy from Reality Bites, Claire & Bender from The Breakfast Club, Mia & Nicholas from The Princess Diaries 2, Daniel & Kim from Freaks and Geeks, Kelly & Ryan from The Office